Archive for the ‘Justin Upton’ Category

Detroit Tigers v Atlanta Braves

2012 Record: 94-68, 2nd NL East
2012 Pythagorean Record: 92-70
Impact Player: RF Jason Heyward
Impact Pitcher: RHP Tim Hudson
Top Prospect: RHP Julio Teheran 

Significant Acquisitions: LF Justin Upton, CF B.J. Upton, 3B Chris Johnson, RHP Jordan Walden, C Gerald Laird, IF Ramiro Pena, OF Jordan Schafer, RHP David Carpenter

Significant Departures: 3B Chipper Jones, LF Martin Prado, CF Michael Bourn, RHP Tommy Hanson, RHP Randall Delgado, C David Ross, RHP Chad Durbin, RHP Jair Jurrjens, CP Eric Hinske, OF Matt Diaz

In 1990, the Atlanta Braves recorded their sixth-straight losing season and had become known as one of the most futile franchises in baseball. Since then, in 21 seasons (1994 omitted because of the strike), Atlanta has posted fewer than 86 wins only thrice and has made the playoffs an astounding 16 times. In 2012, they recorded 94 wins—their highest total since 2004—but due to the awesomeness of the Washington Nationals, were forced to play in—and lose—the first ever National League wildcard play-in game to the St. Louis Cardinals.

With the retirement of third baseman Chipper Jones and the loss of centerfielder Michael Bourn to free agency, the Braves sought to make significant changes to their offense and did so by bringing in the brothers Upton—B.J. from Tampa via a five-year, $75-million contract and Justin via a trade with the Diamondbacks that saw leftfielder Martin Prado and others go the other way. With the current roster, Atlanta is poised to make another run at the playoffs, but how likely is it that they avoid the wildcard game this time around?

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There is a reason these Justin Upton trade rumors refuse to go away. Reason being, Upton is likely to be traded before his Arizona Diamondbacks head to Spring Training. After the Seattle Incident, it would be quite difficult for the team and player to continue on as if nothing happened.

The other main reason for this endless process of teases and innuendos relates back to Arizona GM Kevin Towers, who doesn’t exactly operate within the “cone of silence” many of his contemporaries adopted. Towers has a reputation for being forthcoming with information – at least not running circles and wasting effort on misdirection.

Now it appears a Justin Upton trade draws close once again, with the Atlanta Braves figuring prominently in the discussion?

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Everybody’s favourite duo at Foxsports, Kenny and Jon Paul, have revealed to the world that Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton has rejected a trade to the Seattle Mariners.

No other names involved in the proposed deal have been or likely will be revealed, but the very fact that this information is out there suggests it is only a matter of time before the 25-year old 2-time All-Star will be moved to a different team. Upton is under contract for $38.5 million over the next three years.

Despite the moved-in fences in Safeco Field, it appears it will take a little more than back-to-back-to-back last place finishes in the division to sway the tastes of a player of the calibre of Upton. It’s almost as if he didn’t even hear about the Jason Bay signing!

Upton posted a .280/.355/.430 line with a .341 wOBA, 108 wRC+ and 2.5fWAR last season, and had a career year in 2011, where we posted a fWAR over 6. Ken and JP also mention the Braves as a possible suitor, having already signed Justin’s brother Bossman Junior earlier in the year.

{stats via fangraphs, duh}

UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick is here to speak in absolutes and make me feel silly for ever writing this post in the first place.

As exciting as Jeff Keppinger signing for three years is, there are rumblings coming from Nashville about a potential three or even four team blockbuster trade. Many moving pieces but Jon Heyman speculates that Arizona, Cleveland, Texas, and perhaps Tampa Bay are in deep discussions regarding some big names.

The latest from Heyman on twitter has Justin Upton going to Texas, Asdrubal Cabrera going to Arizona, Rangers prospect Martin Perez and more headed to Cleveland. Other (likely baseless) iterations of the same trade feature names like Trevor Bauer headed to the Rays with James Shields moving, possibly to Texas. Wow.

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Kirk Gibson is an old school guy. His old school ways worked wonders in 2011, leading his ragtag bunch of Desert Snakes to the playoffs. While the contributions of Justin Upton greatly contributed to this dream season, we can safely assume it takes a village to raise an underdog, but without a mayor that village will degrade into anarchy. (It’s an old Scottish mysticism.)

The 2012 Diamondbacks are kind of bad. Not entirely coincidentally, Justin Upton is kind of bad in 2012, too. He isn’t hitting for power and now trade rumours swirl around him. For the power to all but disappear from a 23-year old player is slightly concerning for most people, but Kirk Gibson? He isn’t worried. He knows Justin Upton can contribute in other ways, just like Alfredo Griffin used to do. Wait, what?

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I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said:

But in this world, nothing can be certain except for death, taxes and winter-time rumors of Justin Upton’s departure from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

We’re still a couple of months away from crowning a World Series champion, but rumors as to young Mr. Upton’s availability this off season are already beginning to spread. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, rival executives once again expect the Diamondbacks to try to trade the right fielder at the conclusion of this season.

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These are truly trying times for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Not only is he tasked with carrying his Snakes into the playoffs in true Atlas fashion, he also must contend with repeated attempts on his life. It seems rogue baseballs are exacting some very specific karma for committing the unspeakable crime of playing baseball in Arizona.

First Upton survived an attack on his skull by an errant Tim Linceum fastball. Last night things got straight-up weird as a bad bounce ended Upton’s night. The Baseball Gods are angry. Hit the jump for video evidence of the universe exacting a brutal revenge.

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